Matthew 28:18 - And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Philippians 2:9-11 - Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Compartmentalized Living Won't Do
For over two decades I’ve been using some version of the phrase, “faith for every sphere of life.” I first started thinking about this as I began a deep study of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It just made sense that if Jesus Christ is the Lord of heaven and earth, then he is Lord of all. And if he is the Lord of all, then I must submit to him in every sphere of my life, or else I should stop calling him Lord.
This notion was in marked contrast to the way many people think and live, including myself in the early days of my faith. I, like plenty of other folks, had long been an adherent of a compartmentalized faith. You know the drill: the Christian faith is fine for Sunday mornings, but it has nothing to do with the rest of your life. It’s embarrassing to admit, but that’s where I was.
Personal, Not Private
Thankfully, I have observed that understanding the Christian faith, as a comprehensive view of life, is gaining some traction, at least by many people in the church. The secular world, however, would still prefer for the church to remain silent about anything not having to do with worship on Sunday mornings. Faith, they say, is private; You can practice it at home, but you shouldn’t bring it into the public square. But Jesus doesn't give us that option. The Christian faith certainly ought to be personal, but it should never be private. The Dutch theologian and statesman, Abraham Kuyper, famously said something along the lines of, "there is not a square inch in all the universe about which Christ does declare, 'Mine!'"
As a United Methodist, I have rejoiced that John Wesley took just such a view of the Christian faith. He called it Scriptural Holiness and said it was his purpose in life to spread such Scriptural Holiness over the land (which, for him, was England). For Wesley, holiness was inward but also outward. It was personal and it was social. There was no picking and choosing. Faith must permeate every aspect of a Christian’s life – marriage, parenting, work, economics, politics, education, the arts, personal morality, relationships, civic duty, and serving the community, just to name a few spheres of life.
I encourage you to pray over what it would mean for you to understand that there is not even the smallest corner of your life over which Jesus Christ, as Lord, is unconcerned. How would acknowledging and submitting to that truth change your life? How would it bless your relationship with your family and friends? What consequences would it have for you in your workplace? Can you imagine the possibilities? Brothers, Christ is calling you to follow him in every sphere of your lives. Do you hear his voice? Will you follow him?
Look again at those questions in the last paragraph. They are not rhetorical. They are questions Christ requires we ask ourselves and answer. More than that, we must live those answers out before a world in desperate need of men and women of God. Write each of those questions down in a journal or on an index card. Then pray over them, asking God to lead you to greater faithfulness. Meet with some accountability partners and discuss how you all can help one another in this pursuit.
Grace and Truth,
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